04 Oct 2019

Tenets of Tae Kwon Do:

  • Courtesy
  • Integrity
  • Perseverance
  • Self-Control
  • Indomitable Spirit
  • Victory

This month we will explore the third of six Tenets of Tae Kwon Do and how it applies to martial arts and life in general: Self-Control.

According to the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, the definition of Self-Control is as follows

Restraint exercised over one’s own impulsesemotions, or desires.

Self-Control seems like such a simple concept, but when you look at the definition you see that it covers a broad spectrum. Having control over impulses, emotions, and desires means self-control is a very powerful tenet! How do we have self-control? Are we born with it, or is it a learned behavior? As you will see, once again, this tenet can help us in our martial arts practice as well as in our life in general.

Self-control is a learned behavior. Babies cannot control their emotions when they are hungry or uncomfortable. Somewhere between toddler age and pre-kindergarten, children are taught and begin to learn to exercise restraint over their emotions, desires, and impulses.

In martial arts self-control is demonstrated by standing still and at attention when bowing in at the beginning and end of every class, rather than moving around, scratching an itch, or adjusting their uniform or belt. It is utilized when the instructor is talking, showing a move, or teaching a drill or a form. Students must focus on what the instructor is doing or saying and not allow themselves to be distracted. A very important place to use self-control is in sparring. We never use full-force against a fellow student in a sparring match in class – especially if a student is sparring against a younger person or a junior belt.

The use of restraint over one’s impulses, or desires is a great thing when given poor choices. If there are freshly baked goodies cooling off in the kitchen, but you haven’t had dinner yet – and you haven’t asked permission – using self-control and not indulging in the impulse to grab a cookie is a very good decision! As students get older and friends or acquaintances begin to experiment with illegal or harmful things, self-control can keep them from falling into the wrong crowd.

Avoiding gossip, bullying, taking things that don’t belong to you – can be circumvented by utilizing self-control. Not having temper tantrums, controlling anger, and losing your temper are all averted by being able to restrain your emotions.

So, as you can see, self-control is a very powerful tenet that can help you in the studio, as well as in school, work, and at home.

At our studio, Ajay’s Karate, we are a traditional martial arts school teaching the very best in technique along with values that our students will carry with them throughout their lifetime.

Call us today to see for yourself, what we do at Ajay’s Karate! (916) 686-3478.

By Lydia Ajay, 4th Degree Black Belt and Co-Owner of Ajay’s Karate, Elk Grove, California.

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